Just a few miles outside of Connell is Bobbie Lee Alpaca Farm owned by Michael and Bobbie Woodcock. They have had the farm for 2 years and have grown quite a bit in a short amount of time. They raise the alpacas for their fiber to then make retail items to sell – scarves, hats, socks, rugs, blankets, gloves, dryer balls, soap, fertilizer and other apparel items as well. They also open their farm up for tours to the public too so that they can educate others on the kind and gentle nature of alpacas and also provide information on their fiber as well. Tours are available any day before 5:00pm, they just ask that you first call ahead.
Bobbie Lee Alpaca Farm is a family business. Aside from Michael and Bobbie, they also have their daughter and Bobbie’s sister who help with the business as well. Bobbie’s sister makes some of the retail items from the alpaca fibers. Something new they did this year and will continue to do in the warmer weather months is Alpaca Yoga. Typically you sign up in advance and then show up on the day with your yoga mat. As you do yoga in the field, the curious and friendly alpacas with wander throughout and join the group.
The Woodcocks lived in Connell a few years ago when they relocated back to Washington. After then moving to Pasco for 5 years, they decided that they wanted to start the Alpaca farm and that Connell would be the perfect place for it. Bobbie stated, “Connell just felt more like home than anywhere else so we moved back and started raising alpacas.” They wanted to be able to bring something new to the community, something that everyone would be able to enjoy while learning the unique features thatalpacas provided both as a live animal and from products derived from alpacas.
The weekend of September 27-29th was National Alpaca Weekend – the Woodcocks opened up the farm for tours, despite the very cold weather. The community got to go out and feed the alpacas and walk in the pens amongst them all the while learning about them too. Some fun facts about alpacas – they are much smaller then llamas and don’t spit (unless threatened), they have a gestation period of 11 months and have the capability to choose when to have their baby. All babies are born on a decent weather day between 10am and 1pm – the mother alpaca knows that her baby needs to be up and stable before it gets dark so they don’t have babies when they know they wouldn’t have enough time to be up and eating before then. Also alpaca products are as soft as cashmere and warmer than wool and the best part is they don’t have the ‘itch factor’ in their fiber.
So if you are looking for something fun, unique, and free to do locally, call to visit the Bobbie Lee Alapaca Farm – it is perfect for little kids too! It is located just a few miles east of Connell at 3961 E SR 260, just be sure to call ahead if you’re coming out to be sure they are there and available - #509-948-0062. You can get more information on their products and about alpacas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website bobbieleealpacafarm.com. They are also on facebook – like their page and stay up to date on any events they are hosting and follow the progress and growth of their baby alpacas and the whole farm too.